Why sailor Isabelle Joschke almost capsized

LSlowly, slowly, Isabelle Joschke tries to reach the coast of Brazil. The city of Salvador de Bahia is your destination. With a cruising speed of six to eight knots, she comes closer to that. The sailors are dependent on the forces of nature, sometimes it can be cruel to them, for example to her.

On January 10, she had to give up because the main hydraulic cylinder on the keel fin broke during heavy gusts of wind in the South Atlantic. A few days earlier she had made a makeshift repair, in vain. As a result, the keel was no longer centered and Joschke could not continue. But the problem is not gone, it is difficult to keep the boat straight and Joschke is still out at sea. Every storm is a danger to them. In the last few days she has only narrowly escaped a disaster, her boat almost capsized. “The mast was already in the water,” she told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

Joschke still has a big task ahead of him, even though she is no longer in the race. “I have to make sure to keep the boat as flat as possible,” she wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. “If the boat leans sharply, the keel sways under the wind and increases this lean”. If that happens again – then she could get into a vicious circle.

Joschke is like a high wire artist who tries not to fall off the narrow rope. You can keep your yacht flat thanks to the foils and the shape of the boat – it is quite wide. You try to avoid vibrations. “I’m on my guard all the time,” she writes. “In order to preserve the boat, we must definitely prevent the keel from moving too much and therefore avoid impacts, lurching or swaying.”

While Joschke is busy with it, the leading group is preparing for the final. After you have passed Cape Horn, you still have to overcome the calm winds of the Azores. In the Bay of Biscay there will be a finale close to you. “It will be the most incredible week of all the Vendée Globe Finals. All six or seven boats can come close together, ”said Herrmann on Thursday.

The French Charlie Dalin is currently leading the group, Boris Herrmann sailing about 77 nautical miles behind him on Thursday, followed by Thomas Ruyant and Louis Burton. “I feel good. It’s good for morale to be second, even if it doesn’t mean much at the moment. ”It is still difficult to predict who will be the first to reach the port in Les Sables-d’Olonne. It will not be the sailor Joschke – it is planned that she will reach Salvador de Bahia on Monday morning, Brazilian time.

The Vendée Globe is considered the toughest regatta for single-handed sailors. It began on November 8th on the French Atlantic coast and leads around the globe along the Southern Ocean. Boris Herrmann is the first German to take part.


the victory will be played in the heads

Never had we known such crowds approaching the line. Since the creation of the race in 1989, only three editions had seen two arrivals on the same day, with a gap of only four hours in 2012-2013 between Armel Le Cléac’h and the winner François Gabart. This year, six men – and up to nine more improbably – are able to finish Wednesday, January 27 in the same twenty-four hours.

Misleading classification

Anything can still happen between the current leader Charlie Dalin (it was still the case on Thursday 21 at the end of the day) and the ninth Benjamin Dutreux, 700 kilometers away, that is to say a day and a half at sea. And again this ranking, established on the base of the shortest road leading into the Vendée through an imaginary point (called “Way Point”), is misleading.

→ READ. Vendée Globe, two sailing boats side by side under the equator

“It should be taken with a grain of salt, says Sébastien Josse, the organization’s weather consultant. A skipper ranked ahead on the chart may actually have more distance to cover depending on his wind resistance ”. To avoid the calm looming south of the Azores, the fleet turned north-west to seek downwind winds. The large foilers, very efficient under her tack, will round off the trajectory even more and lengthen their course while the less recent boats will dive earlier to the northeast towards the finish.

Wind against distance, a classic of sailing, which turns into a puzzle for the most modern boats, those of Thomas Rouvoir and Charlie Dalin. Under normal conditions, these two would easily take the risk of doing a lot of extra miles, even if it means catching up on speed. But they have experienced foil damage and can no longer take full advantage of their appendages. “We are sailing on one foot and our two damaged foils are on the wrong side, where we would have needed them most to take off in the last days”, explains Thomas Rettant, worried about the outcome.

→ ANALYSIS. Vendée Globe: these foils that can turn against their skippers

This fear, which turns to stress for some, like Yannick Bestaven, whose boat has suffered a lot of damage since Cape Horn, will weigh even more in the last days. “The road was very hard and longer than expected, men are physically and psychologically tired, explains doctor Jean-Yves Chauve, race doctor. This deep fatigue, of which they are not always aware, can cause them to make maneuvering errors, we are also seeing more and more typing errors in email exchanges with them, this is a sign ”.

The stress of the straight line

Propelled by the adrenaline of the final sprint, the leading men will still have to endure the home stretch, and the stress of missing the podium within seconds. Because at this decisive moment, the four hours between the first and the second of 2013 will perhaps be a figure of eternity. The boats appear close on the map, but they are in reality spread out over a territory twice the size of France, which will no longer be the case when the trajectories meet in sight of the Vendée. “They have all been very well prepared, they have learned to sleep, none is physically at the end of their rope in my opinion, but mentally, the situation is unprecedented. When they run into their main rivals in the home stretch, it will be tough ”, continues Doctor Chauve.

In these last miles, it will be necessary to fine-tune the settings, but above all to take out the calculator. Among the contenders for victory, three benefit from significant bonuses linked to their participation in the rescue of Kevin Escoffier: Boris Herrmann has six credit hours, Yannick Bestaven has ten and Jean Le Cam sixteen. “We can very well imagine that the Vendée Globe is played out on this and that the first to make landfall then fall back in the standings, explains race director Jacques Caraës. It is a difficult situation for us and for the men at sea who did not need it. “


Five days behind the record

To beat the speed record around the world on a single-handed monohull set by Armel Le Cléac’h during the Vendée Globe 2016-2017, that is to say 74 days and three hours, the leader of the Vendée Globe should have touched earth Friday January 22 around 5 pm. If at the start of this edition some skippers were able to consider going below the 70 days mark, the result will actually be close to 79 days, Wednesday January 27, depending on the time of arrival. This was due to unfavorable weather conditions throughout the course and to very formed southern seas which forced the skippers to hold back their machines in order to preserve them.


Vendée Globe: the 1st estimate of arrival gives 5 boats for January 27 – Info wire – Vendée Globe

The first ETA fell from the Vendée Globe organization. And it confirms a fine traffic jam on the finish line since the race management announces no less than five boats for the day of Wednesday January 27 “including SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco (Boris Herrmann), Apivia (Charlie Dalin), Maître CoQ IV (Yannick Bestaven), Bureau Vallée 2 (Louis Burton) and LinkedOut (Thomas Rettant) ”. Four boats are a priori scheduled for the day of Thursday January 28: Groupe Apicil (Damin Seguin), Prysmian Group (Giancarlo Pedote), Yes We Cam! (Jean Le Cam) and Omia-Water Family (Benjamin Dutreux).

In addition, the organization has confirmed that the arrival of this ninth edition will be behind closed doors. A first in the history of touring the world.


Sea, sex and only … How sailors experience their sexuality in the Vendée Globe

INVESTIGATION – Libido, abstinence, experiences … Le Figaro asked, not without humor, the sailors, who travel the world alone, on this taboo subject.

Sailors have a woman in each port, it is well known. And between the ports, what happens? How do browsers manage their desire for three months? Does their libido flow to the rhythm of the oceans? The subject, taboo, surprised the skippers when we questioned them. “It’s my privacy, I’m not Brigitte Lahaye”, began by answering Nicolas Troussel, a few weeks before the start of Les Sables d’Olonne, then adding: “Yes, at sea, we have thoughts and dreams” … End of the (short) confidence.

Forced to give up on the eighth day at sea, his monohull Corum the Savings having dismasted, the double winner of La Solitaire du Figaro and neophyte of the Vendée Globe therefore did not have time to “test himself” over the duration of a round the world race. Unlike Romain Attanasio, in a relationship with the English Samantha Davies (out of the race after her retirement off the Cape of Good Hope), and current 13e of this edition after completing the previous one after 109 days

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Vendée Globe: the threat Boris Herrmann

The sea is deceptive, so are the Vendée Globe rankings. The unspectacular sixth place of the German Boris Herrmann, Tuesday, January 19 in the midday standings, wisely remained within reach of the leading pack since the start of the solo round the world trip, hides a calculated strategy. Never ahead, but never far behind either, the first German (1) to embark on the Vendée Globe since the inception of the race in 1989 understood that to arrive in place, you had to have … spared your horse.

→ READ. Vendée Globe, two sailboats side to side under the equator

Unless he lied about the condition of his boat, the “Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco”, which is not so rare in an event also involving the game of chess, he suffered only one slight damage, a tear in his mainsail, which was easily repaired. “Boris is the only one to have large foils in a priori working order. He could have a good speed out of the doldrums ”, declared recently in the Norman daily “Paris Normandy” Le Havrais Charlie Dalin, current leader of the fleet.

“Herrmann, we are all waiting for him”

Exiting the doldrums, this area of ​​uncertainty located north of the equator, precisely, we are there. And this is where the German, calm, could sound the charge at the helm of his powerful monohull, launched for the Vendée Globe 2016-2017 by another sailor, Sébastien Josse. Modernized and made more reliable, this monohull has become the fastest single-handed boat in history between Cape Horn and the equator.

A bad option of trajectory in the doldrums later, and nearly 300 kilometers lost in the affair, here is again the German started again for a few hours. “Herrmann, we are all waiting for him, I’ve been waiting for him for two months, he will eventually arrive”, explains the three-time winner of the Figaro solo, Yann Éliès, who assisted Charlie Dalin in his preparation.

This role of turtle never far from the hares, Herrmann, a lifelong professional navigator, author of a world tour in class 40 (13 m monohulls), has chiseled for years spent chomping on the pontoons by seeing the friends leave for the world tour. He remained at the quay, for lack of a sponsor, until the decisive meeting of a young silver man, passionate like him about sailing and ecology: Pierre Casiraghi, son of Caroline of Monaco and Stefano Casiraghi.

Supported financially, this tongue-in-cheek German, follower of videos where he makes fun of himself, sails aboard the “Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco”, which was still called “Malice 2” in 2019 when he achieved worldwide fame thanks to his famous passenger. It was on board that the young Greta Thurnberg, hostile to air travel, joined New York to deliver a speech that has become famous before the UN General Assembly.

Marketing and ecology alliance

Simple publicity stunt for the promoters of “Malice”, word meaning malicious in Monegasque? Let us say rather an alliance of a certain sense of marketing (he studied economics) and genuine environmental concern of a skipper putting his boat at the service of scientists. Boris Herrmann’s monohull is indeed crammed with sensors of all kinds, making it possible to collect data intended for various institutes, including Ifremer (French Institute for Research and Exploitation of the Sea).

→ ANALYSIS. Vendée Globe: these foils that can turn against their skippers

This ecological awareness is not a recent posture. “It’s a mix between meetings and a click ten years ago, when I was sailing in the South Pole. The ice was completely changed, it made us late and my teammate lost 15 kg. It is a moment that I cannot forget. I then began to take a much more precise interest in the way in which the oceans and global warming are linked ”, he said before leaving Sables d’Olonne.

A Vendée port that he could reach in front of the others, even if he arrives… afterwards. Six bonus hours (the equivalent of approximately 100 km of navigation) were awarded to him following his participation in the search for the castaway Kevin Escoffier, which had forced him to change his mind. This time mattress, which he shares with another leading competitor, Yannick Bestaven (10:15 a.m.), and, a little further, Jean Le Cam (4 p.m.), could prove to be decisive in the final count.


Vendée Globe: close to the exit of the Doldrums, Dalin and Burton step up and drop the competition – Vendée Globe

Now pushed by the trade winds, the first two round the world have widened the gap on their pursuers.

Coming from the clutches of the Doldrums, its tricky squalls and erratic winds, Charlie Dalin and Louis Burton are now making a big deal on the Sables d’Olonne road. The first two made (temporarily?) The gap with their competitors by accelerating in the trade winds. At the 9:00 am check-in on Monday, Dalin averaged 13 knots over the last four hours and was 41 miles ahead of Burton, who was advancing at the same speed. Positioned further west than the Norman, the Malouin is further from the orthodromy – the shortest path between two points on a surface – and therefore from the finish. But nothing says that Bureau Vallée 2, with foils admittedly small but intact, will not overtake, in the gentle trade winds (regular northwesterly winds from West Africa), Apivia and its giant appendages, one of which – the port side , the one he is leaning on at the moment -is damaged.

The gaps swell

As always, the first out of the Doldrums will be able to capitalize while behind, the gaps swell for the laggards. 3e, Thomas Rettant (LinkedOut) stalled a bit this Monday morning (+102.5 miles versus 46 miles 12 hours earlier) before regaining speed out of the Pot (almost 14 knots). This is also the case for Boris Herrmann (SeaExplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco), at less than 8 knots over the last four hours and now 6e 140 miles from the head. Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil, +115.5) and Yannick Bestaven (Maître CoQ, +138.3) took the opportunity to overtake the German at the latitude of French Guyana. An order to be put into perspective because, like Dalin, they too are closer to the direct route. And the duo were stuck in the Pot this Monday morning (3.5 knots)! Giancarlo Pedote (Prysmian Group, +147) and Benjamin Dutreux (Omia-Water Family, +180) are also at idle (3 / 3.5 knots). Closer to Brazil, Jean Le Cam (Yes We Cam !, +225) was advancing a little faster (8 knots).

Very far behind, Miranda Merron (Campagne de France) and Clément Giraud (Compagnie du Lit-Jiliti) have crossed a Horn Cape of which Alexia Barrier (TSE-4My Planet) and Ari Huusela (Stark) are still very far, point Nemo all just crossed. Sébastien Destremau, he arrived in Christchurch in New Zealand. The Var skipper abandoned his monohull Merci, crippled by damage, on Saturday.


Vendée Globe: Passage times at the equator – Info feed – Vendée Globe

No less than seven Vendée Globe boats have tipped over in the northern hemisphere since Saturday evening. Find their split times as Charlie Dalin has regained power in the Doldrums.

Order and times of crossing the equator
1-Vallée office (Louis Burton) at 8:11 p.m. in 69 days 5 hours 51 minutes
2-Apivia (Charlie Dalin) at 21:11 ‘in 69d 06h 51’, or 59 ‘after the leader
3-Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco (Boris Herrmann) at 9:49 p.m. in 69 days 7:29 a.m., i.e. 1h 37 minutes after the leader and 37 minutes after Apivia

4-LinkedOut (Thomas Rettant) at 00:06 ‘in 69d 09:46’, or 3h 54 ‘after the leader, or 2h 16’ after Seaexplorer-Yacht Club de Monaco
5-Maître Coq IV (Yannick Bestaven) at 3h36 ‘in 69d 13h 16’, either 7h 24 ‘after the leader, or 03h 30’ after LinkedOut
6- Groupe APICIL (Damien Seguin) at 5:47 am UT in 69d 16h 27 ‘, either 10h 35’ after the leader, or 03h 10 ‘after Maître Coq IV
7- Prysmian Group (Giancarlo Pedote) at 9:13 am UT in 69d 7:53 pm, either 2:01 pm after the leader, or 3:25 am after Groupe APICIL


Sailor Boris Herrmann takes third place

Dhe surprise came on Friday night. Boris Herrmann was the fastest sailor in the leading group and now sails in third position at the Vendée Globe. In the past few days, the hamburger had worked his way up and is now attacking Charlie Dalin and Louis Burton. “I am currently benefiting the most from my foils and am gradually gaining speed,” said Boris Herrmann in the Vendée Globe livestream on Friday.

He sat grinning on the deck of his yacht in the sunshine with headphones on. Because of the warm temperatures, he only wore a black T-shirt. “I am fine. Yesterday I suffered from the extreme heat. Today I can cope better with it, ”said Herrmann. The leading group of the Vendée Globe fleet sailed on Friday morning around 200 nautical miles from the Brazilian coast towards the equator, which it intends to cross over the weekend. The man from Hamburg reported that he had received a lot of messages from friends, but also from strangers, telling him how much they admired his performance. “There is definitely a chance of victory,” Herrmann said on Thursday.

“The conditions are just perfect for sailing fast.” The leading group will reach the northern hemisphere in about six days. It remains exciting to see which final racing decisions the German skipper will then make. One thing was already clear to him: “Applying a little pressure on the others is a fantastic option.”


Boris Herrmann faces an Atlantic sailing crime thriller

On course for the podium: Boris Herrmann
Image: Jean-Marie LIOT / Malizia

In the toughest sailing regatta in the world, Boris Herrmann could even land on the podium in the end. Before that, there are still 4,700 nautical miles through the Atlantic. But the German has a decisive advantage.

Boris Herrmann has reported back during his solo circumnavigation in the battle for the podium. After setbacks in Cape Horn and a race to catch up in the past few days, the 39-year-old moved up to sixth place at his Vendée Globe premiere in the South Atlantic near Rio de Janeiro.

At the end of the 65th day at sea, the “Seaexplorer – Yacht Club de Monaco” skipper was just over 100 nautical miles behind the old and new French front-runner Charlie Dalin (“Apivia”). Everything points to a 4700 nautical mile long Atlantic thriller. “The regatta is still alive! Everything is still possible. For all of us, ”said Herrmann.

The best boat

The scenario suggests that the hamburger will advance further – he has the best of the six boats in the front. Leading Charlie Dalin and Thomas Ruyant (“LinkedOut”) both have to deal with broken port foils.

Third placed Yannick Bestaven (“Maître Coq IV”) and Louis Burton (“Bureau Valllée 2”) have smaller foils and the fourth Paralympics winner Damien Seguin (“Groupe Apicil”) has no foils at all. Herrmann has the largest, best and intact foils. The leading boats are expected at the end of January in the start and destination port of Les Sables-d’Olonne.


Stable and microscopic gaps in the leading group – Info feed – Vendée Globe

No major upheavals in the 6pm ranking at the top of the Vendée Globe. Charlie Dalin (Apivia) still led the dance with 11 miles ahead of former leader Yannick Bestaven (Maitre CoQ), 21.2 miles over Damien Seguin (Groupe Apicil), 21.6 miles over Thomas Roût (LinkedOut) and 27 miles on Louis Burton (Bureau Vallée). Boris Herrmann (Seaexplorer- Yacht Club de Monaco) followed at 54 miles, ie microscopic gaps.